Work is set to start on a water park and wellness spa close to the Trafford Centre after approval by the council.

The site, which was the home of EventCity up until its demolition, is set to open as Therme Manchester in 2025.

A plan for the £250m water park and wellness spa was approved in 2020 but this was resubmitted after a partnership between Peel L&P and Therme Group used the pause of the pandemic to change their proposal.

The changes included a switch from a single structure to separate structures in a 'pavilion style', tweaks to the entrance, tweaks to the parking and the creation of links to the Bridgewater Canal and to the city centre.

Messenger Newspapers: An illustration of Therme Manchester

At the town hall this week there was opposition to the plan from two councillors on the Planning Committee, Jill Axford and Dan Jerrome, as well as the clothing company, Regatta Group, which has its HQ in the area.

The councillors were concerned about the impact on the environment, while the clothing company was concerned about the impact on the highways.

Cllr Axford said: "At risk of sounding like a killjoy I have some concerns about this application. 

"At a time where more and more boundaries are being crossed which threaten our survival I think it is curious we are being asked to agree to this development."

Messenger Newspapers: An illustration of Therme Manchester

Cllr Jerrome said: "One of my biggest concerns is the Bridgewater Canal which is one of the most special sites in Trafford. It is a site of biological importance. 

"I cycle up the Bridgewater Canal most weeks in the daytime and in the evening and one of the special things about it is it is dark almost all the way. 

"You are cycling along it and bats are cycling along with you. It is incredible. 

"We are making a mistake allowing them to build to the Bridgewater Canal."

However, a majority of the Planning Committee were in support of Therme Manchester.

Laurence Walsh said it would bring "pleasure" to visitors and "prosperity" to workers.

Cllr Walsh said: "The other members brought up green issues but I think the benefits of this scheme outweigh the green issues. 

"My understanding is this development employs 600 people. It is a lot of jobs. It brings prosperity to the people in those jobs."

Work is set to start this year and the site is set to open in 2025.

This article was written by Jack Tooth. To contact him, email or follow @JTRTooth on Twitter.